Sunday, August 15, 2010

What we Did on Our Holidays...

Over the years we have tried a few well-known areas of France: Britanny, the Loire valley, the Dordogne, the Auvergne...  This year we were in Alsace, and once again it could hardly be said to be an undiscovered little corner
as almost all the images will testify. 

A typical street in Colmar, Alsace.

We chose to travel by Eurostar, thinking to minimise some of the more obvious stress factors of recent holidays: Swedish road-signs, switch-back roads in the Allier gorges, parking at the edge of a precipice on the Pas de Peyrol in the Auvergne - and it's certainly true that the travel arrangements were very smooth.  Just very long walks between stages of the journey; even the platforms feel long when carrying the wrong kind of suitcase.

Colmar, some forty miles south of Strasbourg, is a small town with many half-timbered buildings and quaint corners - as well as about three hundred weinstubs, bars, salons de the and other eating opportunities.  We sampled as many as we could while there.  The local cuisine reveals the tangled history of the region, with pickled cabbage and varied cheap cuts of pork at the top of the list.  However, we enjoy our food, and several of the meals we had were memorable, not least the one which started at eight and finished with petits fours at gone eleven. 

We were charmed by the stork's nest on the wheel atop the cathedral in Colmar..

but totally gobsmacked by the colony of storks on the townhall in Munster.  We counted twelve pairs on one building -

And these are huge birds.

The little walk we took into the countryside above Munster was a highlight of the whole trip; opening views of the town, mixed woodland paths and the oddest little vegetable plot we had ever seen, set down inexplicably in the middle of a meadow, not next to the road or to any house that we could see.

Above Munster, Alsace

Finally, an image of textile interest: a sign, suggesting that not so long ago linen was on sale here.

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